OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
After the terrorist attacks near the Kabul airport that left 13 American military members and more than 160 Afghans dead, Joe Biden ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff.
But one courthouse in Texas denied the president’s order and refused to lower its flags, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced on Facebook.
“As a mark of respect for the U.S. service members and other victims killed in the terrorist attack on August 26, 2021, in Kabul, Afghanistan, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, August 30, 2021,” Biden said in his proclamation.
I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations,” he said.
But the courthouse in Fayette County decided that it would not abide by the order, Perry said.
“The Fayette County Courthouse won’t be flying the American flag at half-staff today as ordered by President Joe Biden. Before he was a Judge, my friend Joe Weber was a General in the Marine Corps,” the former governor said.
“He knows the best way to honor the Marines and Navy Corpsman who were killed yesterday in Kabul is to recognize their selfless service and sacrifice by flying Old Glory high and proud,” Perry said. “That’s what they would want; that’s what their families would want.”
“We have dipped our colors and bent the knee to terrorists under this Administration. No more, at least not in Fayette County, Texas,” he said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki stunned several observers on Friday when she told reporters it isn’t likely the Biden administration is going to be able to get all Americans of out Afghanistan before the withdrawal deadline on Tuesday.
One reporter, asking for “clarity,” pressed Psaki: “After August 31 for people who will still be on the ground in Afghanistan and want to get out — does the U.S. right now have a vision of a process that they will use to get people out after” the withdrawal deadline.
“Is the U.S. guaranteeing that you can get out?” she asked.
While the reporter seemed to focus more on Afghan nationals who assisted U.S. forces during the nearly 20-year war, Psaki’s reply included “American citizens” still in the country.
“I don’t think we can guarantee, but what we can do is work toward — and this is what the president directed the secretary of state to continue diplomatic efforts with international partners to secure means for third-country nationals, Afghans with visas who may be eligible for our programs, of course, any American citizen who remains in-country, to leave the country even after the U.S. military presence ends,” said Psaki.
“There’s a means and mechanisms for that, those conversations are ongoing. That’s our objective. Our commitment does not change on Aug. 31,” she added.
President Joe Biden has said that all Americans who wanted to leave the country ahead of the fast-approaching deadline would be able to do so, though Psaki’s response appears to undermine his statement.
During the same press conference, the White House spokeswoman also said that over the previous 24 hours, some 10,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan, but only about 300 of those were Americans.